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IZA/World Bank Conference on Employment and Development

Organized by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) and the World Bank
Berlin, May 25, 2006 - May 27, 2006




Recent economic and social transformations have put developing countries on higher and more sustainable growth paths. In too many cases, however, poor labor market conditions still lead to high unemployment, poor working conditions, low wages and increased inequality and exclusion. Labor is often the only asset of the poor and a growth process that is not associated with job creation may therefore fail to reduce poverty. A well functioning labor market can be the key to an environment where new firms are created and private agents find the proper incentives to invest and innovate. Sound labor policies that promote the creation of more and better jobs are needed to guarantee the success of structural reforms, to maintain the social support for those reforms, and to ensure that the benefits are widely distributed. Achieving these targets is crucial to an effective implementation of poverty-reduction strategies and, hence, progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

Against this background, the World Bank has developed a proposal for operationally-oriented research program on "Labor Market, Job Creation and Growth". The proposal has been advanced in discussions with the research community, other international organizations (such as ILO) and bi-laterals aid organizations in Europe, America and Asia. To move the proposed research agenda, the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) and the World Bank have launched a new IZA research area on Employment and Development. This new program aims at assisting the international research community to address research priorities related to employment and development, including those identified by the World Bank.

To present this project and initiate research and fund raising, IZA and the World Bank organize a conference in Berlin, May 25-27, 2006. On the 25th and 26th, four panels will discuss a sub-set of the strategic research topics, gathering prominent policy makers and academics, including:
- Samir Radwan (Economic Research Forum)
- Ann Harrison (Berkeley)
- Ragui Assaad (Population Council’s regional director for West Asia and North Africa)
- Robert Holzmann (Director of the Social Protection Department, HDN, World Bank and IZA)
- Klaus F. Zimmermann (Director of IZA and President of DIW Berlin)
- Jan Svejnar (University of Michigan and IZA)
- Ira Gang (Rutgers University and IZA)
- Gary Fields (Cornell University)
- Barry R. Chiswick (University of Illinois, Chicago and IZA)


Olivier Bargain (IZA), Klaus F. Zimmermann (IZA and University of Bonn), Stefano Scarpetta (World Bank and IZA), Robert Holzmann (World Bank and IZA)

Call for papers

On May 26 and 27, parallel sessions will be organized, and we invite you to submit your contribution. We will consider detailed abstracts, but will favor full papers – recent or old – that focus on one of the 7 topics on labor markets and labor market policies in the developing world, as described on the Employment and Development program area page. Papers dealing with developed countries, including transitions economies, are welcome if they prove to be relevant for the purpose of the conference and our understanding of labor market mechanism for the developing world.

Please submit your paper by using our online application form before February 18, 2006. Decisions will be made and communicated by late February. Selected participants to parallel sessions must arrange and fund their trip but are offered two nights accommodations in Berlin (25th and 26th) as well as meals during the conference, including the participation to the conference dinner (exact date to be confirmed). There are no conference fees.

For enquiries, please contact Olivier Bargain and Stefano Scarpetta at [email protected]


IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor

Established in 1998 in Bonn, Germany, IZA is a private independent economic research institute focused on the analysis of global labor markets. It operates an international network of about 1,100 economists and researchers spanning across more than 40 countries. Based on academic excellence and an...

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